Designing the NATO base in the south of France architects were faced with a major challenge: the base has 90 industrial doors and the design needed to integrate the crane tracks and mechanical installations such as sprinkler systems and lighting into the building without restricting the use of the building. So this equipment needed as far as possible to be installed around the sides of the building and above the door openings, but this gave rise to problems with opening the doors. The traditional overhead door opens above the access or across the ceiling making it is impossible to fit crane tracks here, for instance.
When researching the project the designers came to the conclusion that these traditional sectional doors would not fit in the design because they limit the space above the door. So, having reached the conclusion that they needed to find a space-saving door, they chose the Compact folding door. Because the panels of the folding door fold up above the door opening it saves space and therefore it is possible to install a range of equipment above the door opening without restricting use.
Following this successful installation, 60 Compact doors have been fitted in three workshops in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, for the UK’s Ministry of Defence. The potential for space-saving was a key aspect in the decision to use the Compact door. Here too all sorts of equipment are fitted above the door opening and so an overhead door was ruled out. Currently the base is being operated by the Afghan army and is in full use.